At first glance it’s easy to see why Afton Burton would want to leave Bunker Hill, Illinois. With a population of 1,800, the one-stop-sign town offers about as much as thousands of other farm villages across the heartland: not much.
Down a one-lane gravel road sits the house Burton left seven years ago. On top of a small rise in the surrounding flats of cornfield, the home is a picture of Midwest comfort—wide, wooden front porch, American flag hanging by the front door, a lake glinting in the sunlight—but the picturesque environs weren’t enough to keep the 26-year-old there. She fled Bunker Hill at the age of 19 with $2,000 she’d saved. Her destination was Corcoran, California, where Charles Manson is spending his remaining days in a state prison. Her goal: marry the convicted murderer.
He is “the most famous guy in the world,” Burton, who goes by Star, told Rolling Stone.